Tuesday, 22 October 2019
Event Review:  Katie Hulmes, General Manager Transformation & Readiness, Oz Minerals

Event Review: Katie Hulmes, General Manager Transformation & Readiness, Oz Minerals

Austmine recently welcomed members and guests for our Smart Mining Networking Event in Adelaide with Katie Hulmes, General Manager Transformation & Readiness at Oz Minerals.

Oz Minerals are one of the greatest recent success stories in the Australian mining industry. Formed in 2008 through the merger of Oxiana and Zinifex, Oz Minerals are now operating the Prominent Hill mine and developing the large copper-gold Carrapateena project in South Australia. The business is striving to become a renowned global mid-tier and recently acquired Avanco Resources, providing access to world-class deposits in the Carajas and Gurupi region of Brazil. They also have exploration underway in Portugal, Sweden and Mexico.

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At this event, Katie provided updates on the Prominent Hill, Carrapateena, Musgrave and Brazilian projects, before discussing power, exploration and technology and innovation strategies.

As an Australian based modern mining company, Katie began by expressing the importance of innovation to Oz Minerals. She stated, “we all work in innovation every day with what we do, even when our job doesn’t specify for us to innovate,” demonstrating the corporate philosophy and workforce culture around embracing innovation. This belief has enabled Oz Minerals to create significant step changes in the past year and top optimise the range of opportunities available to the business.

Katie began the discussion about Oz Minerals’ projects with their flagship Prominent Hill mine. This produces over 100,000 tonnes of copper each year and has one of the highest grade concentrates on the market. The site transitioned to underground mining following open pit closure in Q1 2018 and studies are currently underway to identify pathways to higher value mine plans.

Construction is ongoing at the Carrapateena project and commissioning is scheduled for Q4 2019. It is one of Australia’s largest undeveloped copper deposits and will be a 4.25 Mtpa underground operation, with an estimated mine life of 20 years.

Katie then explored the West Musgrave project in Western Australia, a joint venture with Cassini Resources that is the largest undeveloped copper nickel deposit in Australia. Pre-feasibility studies are currently being undertaken and OZ Minerals is hoping to establish the West Musgrave project as a scalable, low cost, long life, open pit mining operation.

Next, Katie moved on to Oz Minerals’ Brazilian deposits in Carajas and Gurupi. This includes the Antas project, a high-grade open pit copper-gold mine that entered commercial production in 2016. There is also the Pedra Banca, Centro Gold and Pantera developments and exploration projects under their ownership in the region.

Two other priorities for the business were also highlighted by Katie, the power strategy and concentrate treatment plant. Oz Minerals is heavily focused on secure, reliable and affordable power to trace a course for growth. An RFT for the supply of electricity to Prominent Hill and Carrapateena was released in early July and the business is focusing on power transmission and energy saving initiatives. Meanwhile, execution and operation ramp-up strategies are being explored for their concentrate treatment plant, with information sessions being conducted with stakeholders.

To close the presentation, Kate put the spotlight on Oz Minerals’ innovation and technology strategy, based around thinking and acting differently. They aim to establish a mindset of innovation and to act with agility, in an industry based on compliance.  She also looked at the current environment of mining industry collaboration, stating that mining companies typically don’t collaborate well due to fear of commercial disadvantage. This situation needs to change to take advantage of growth opportunities.

You can download a copy of Katie’s slides in the member self-service portal. If you don’t have a login, contact Nicole.colomb@austmine.com.au

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